Table 3-5: General Best Management Practices (BMPs) for Commercial/Industrial Facilities (Back to Document)


Design BMPs

Floor Drains
Eliminate floor drain discharges to the ground, septic systems (except in sanitary facilities), storm sewers, or to any surface water body from any location in the facility.
If no floor drains are installed, all discharges to the floor should be collected, contained, and disposed of by an appropriate waste hauler in accordance with federal and state requirements.
Floor drains in sanitary facilities must either discharge to a septic system, a municipal sanitary sewer, or a holding tank which is periodically pumped out.
Floor drains in work areas can either be connected to a holding tank with a gravity discharge pipe, or to a collection sump which discharges to a holding tank.
Dry Wells
Dry wells should be eliminated in ALL cases unless they receive ONLY CLEAN WATER DISCHARGES which meets all established Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) promulgated under the Safe Drinking Water Act and other state and local standards for drinking water, and is in compliance with any other state and local requirements.
Floor surfaces in work areas and chemical storage areas should be sealed with an impermeable material resistant to acids, caustics, solvents, oils, or any other substance which may be used or generated at the facility. Sealed floors are easier to clean without the use of solvents.
Work area floors should be pitched to appropriate floor drains. If floor drains are not used, or if they are located close to entrance ways, then berms should be constructed along the full width of entrances to prevent storm water runoff from entering the building.
Berms should also be used to isolate floor drains from spill-prone areas.
Storage Facilities
Loading and unloading of materials and waste should be done within an enclosed or roofed area with secondary containment and isolated from floor drains to prevent potential spills from contaminating storm water or discharging to the ground. Alternatives to roofing include supplemental holding facilities for spills, grading of the area, use of impact-resistant materials.
Underground storage tanks should not be used, unless explicitly required by fire codes or other federal, state or local regulations.
Where underground tanks are required, they should have double-walled construction or secondary containment such as a concrete vault lined or sealed with an impermeable material and filled with sand. Both types of tanks should have appropriate secondary containment monitoring, high level and leak sending audio/visual alarms, level indicators, and overfill protection. If a dip stick is used for level measurements, there should be a protective plate or basket where the stick may strike the tank bottom.
Above-ground tanks should have 110 percent secondary containment or double-walled construction, alarms, and overfill protection, and should be installed in an enclosed area isolated from floor drains, storm water sewers, or other conduits which may cause a release into the environment.
Fill-pipe inlets should be above the elevation of the top of the storage tank.
Tanks and associated appurtenances should be tested periodically for structural integrity.
Storage areas for new and waste materials should be permanently roofed, completely confined within secondary confinement berms, isolated from floor drains, have sealed surfaces, and should not be accessible to unauthorized personnel.
Drum and container storage areas should be consolidated into one location for better control of material and waste inventory.
Cooling Water
Closed-top cooling systems should be considered to eliminate cooling water discharges.
Any cooling water from solvent recovery systems should be free of combination from solvent, metals, or other pollutants, and should not discharge to the ground. Cooling water may be discharged to a storm sewer, sanitary sewer, or stream, provided all federal, state, and local requirements are met.
Water Conservation
Flow restrictions and low-flow faucets for sinks and spray nozzles should be installed to minimize hydraulic loading to subsurface disposal systems.
Foundation Drainage &


If water from foundation drainage and dewatering is not contaminated, it may be discharged to a storm sewer or stream in accordance with any applicable federal, state, or local requirements.
Contaminated water from foundation drainage and dewatering indicates a likely groundwater combination problem,. which should be investigated and remediated as necessary.
Storm Water Management
Storm water contact with materials and wastes must be avoided to the greatest extent possible. Storage of materials and wastes should be isolated in roofed or enclosed areas to prevent contact with precipitation.
Uncovered storage areas should have a separate storm water collection system which discharges to a tank.
Storm water from building roofs may discharge to the ground. However, if solvent distillation equipment or vapor degreasing is used, with a vent that exhausts to the roof, then roof leaders may become cross contaminated with solvent. These potential sources of cross contamination must be investigated and eliminated.
Cross-connections such as sanitary discharges to storm sewers; storm water discharges to sanitary sewers, or floor drain discharges to storm sewer systems, should be identified and eliminated.
Work Areas
Consolidate waste-generating operations and physically segregate them from other operations. They should preferably be located within a confinement area with sealed floors and with no direct access to outside the facility. This reduces the total work area exposed to solvents, facilitates waste stream segregation and efficient material and waste handling, and minimizes cross combination with other operations and potential pathways for release into the environment.
Waste collection stations should be provided throughout work areas for the accumulation of spent chemicals, soiled rags, etc. Each station should have labeled containers for each type of waste fluid. This provides safe interim storage of wastes, reduces frequent handling of small quantities of wastes to storage areas, and minimizes the overall risk of a release into the environment.
New solvent can be supplied by dedicated feed lines or dispensers to minimize handling of materials. These feed lines must default to a closed setting to prevent unmonitored release of material.
Connection of Municipal Sanitary Sewers
Existing and future facilities should connect their sanitary facilities to municipal sanitary sewer systems where they are available.
Holding Tanks
Facilities should discharge to holding tanks if they are located where municipal sanitary sewers are not available, subsurface disposal systems are not feasible, existing subsurface disposal systems are failing, or if they are high risk facilities located in wellhead protection areas.

Operational BMPs

Material & Waste Inventory Control
Conduct monthly monitoring of inventory and waste generation.
Order raw materials on an as-needed basis and in appropriate unit sizes to avoid waste and reduce inventory.
Observe expiration dates on products in inventory.
Eliminate obsolete or excess materials from inventory.
Return unused or obsolete products to the vendor.
Consider waste management costs when buying new materials and equipment.
Ensure materials and waste containers are properly labeled. Not labeling or mislabeling is a common problem.
Mark purchase date and use older materials first.
Maintain products Material Safety Data Sheets to monitor in inventory and the chemical ingredients of wastes. Make MSDS sheets available to employees.
Observe maximum on-site storage times for wastes.
Preventative & Corrective Maintenance
A regularly scheduled internal inspection and maintenance program should be implemented to service equipment, to identify potential leaks and spills from storage and equipment failure, and to take corrective action as necessary to avoid a release to the environment. At a minimum, the schedule should address the following areas:
Tanks, drums, containers, pumps, equipment, and plumbing;
Work stations and waste disposal stations;
Outside and inside storage areas, and storm water catch basins and detention ponds;
Evidence of leaks or spills within the facility and on the site;
Areas prone to heavy traffic from loading and off loading of materials and wastes;
Properly secured containers when not in use;
Proper handling of all containers;
Drippage from exhaust vents;
Proper operation of equipment, solvent recovery, and emission control systems.
Spill Control
Use emergency spill kits and equipment. Locate them at storage areas, loading and unloading areas, dispensing areas, work areas.
Clean spills promptly.
Use recyclable rags or absorbent spill pads to clean up minor spills, and dispose of these materials properly.
Clean large spills with a wet vacuum, squeegee and dust pan, absorbent pads, or brooms. Dispose of all clean up materials properly.
Minimize the use of disposable granular or powder-absorbents.
Spilled materials should be neutralized as prescribed in Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), collected, handled, and disposed of in accordance with federal, state, and local regulations.
Use shake-proof and earthquake proof containers and storage facilities to reduce spill potential.
Materials & Waste

Use spigots, pumps, or funnels for controlled dispensation and transfer of materials to reduce spillage; use different spigots, etc., for different products to maintain segregation and minimize spillage.
Store materials in a controlled, enclosed environment (minimal temperature and humidity variations) to prolong shelf life, minimize evaporative releases, and prevent moisture from accumulating.
Keep containers closed to prevent evaporation, oxidation, and spillage.
Place drip pans under containers and storage racks to collect spillage.
Segregate wastes that are generated, such as hazardous from non-hazardous, acids from bases, chlorinated from nonchlorinated solvents, and oils from solvents, to minimize disposal costs and facilitate recycling and reuse.
Empty drums and containers may be reused, after being properly rinsed, for storing the same or compatible materials.
Recycle cleaning rags and have them cleaned by an appropriate industrial launderer.
Use dry cleanup methods and mopping rather than flooding with water.
Floors may be roughly cleaned with absorbent prior to mopping; select absorbents which can be reused or recycled.
Recycle cardboard and paper, and reuse or recycle containers and drums.
Wastes accumulated in holding tanks and containers must be disposed of through an appropriately licensed waste transporter in accordance with federal, state, and local regulations.
Management involvement in the waste reduction and pollution prevention initiatives is essential to its successful implementation in the work place. By setting the example and encouraging staff participation through incentives or awards, management can increase employee awareness about environmentally sound practices. A first step is to involve management in conducting a waste stream analysis to determine the potential for waste reduction and pollution prevention. This analysis should include the following steps:
Identify plant processes where chemicals are used and waste is generated;
Evaluate existing waste management and reduction methods;
Research alternative technologies;
Evaluate feasibility of waste reduction options;
Implement measures to reduce wastes; and
Periodically evaluate your waste reduction program.
Develop an energy and materials conservation plan to promote the use of efficient technologies, well-maintained inventories, and reduced water and energy consumption.
Sound environmental management should include the currency and completeness of site and facility plans, facility records and inventory management, discharge permits, manifests for disposal of wastes, contracts with haulers for wastes, and contracts with service agents to handle recycling of solvents or to regularly service equipment.
Employee Training
Training programs should be developed which include the following:
Proper operation of process equipment;
Loading and unloading of materials;
Purchasing, labeling, storing, transferring, and disposal of materials;
Leak detection, spill control, and emergency procedures; and
Reuse/recycling/material substitution.
Employees should be trained prior to working with equipment or handling of materials, and should be periodically refreshed when new regulations or procedures are developed.
Employees should be made aware of MSDS sheets and should understand their information.
Employee awareness of the environmental and economic benefits of waste reduction and pollution prevention, and the adverse consequences of ignoring them, can also facilitate employee participation.
Posting of signs, communication with staff, education and training, and posting of manuals for spill control, health and safety (OSHA), operation and maintenance of facility and equipment, and emergency response are essential, Storage areas for chemicals and equipment, employee bathrooms, manager's office, and waste handling stations are suggested areas for posting communication. A bulletin board solely for environmental concerns should be considered.
Record Keeping
Facility plans, plumbing plans, and subsurface disposal system plans and specifications must be updated to reflect current facility configuration. Copies of associated approvals and permits should be maintained on file.
OHSA requirements, health and environmental emergency procedures, materials management plans, inventory records, servicing/repair/inspections logs, medical waste tracking and hazardous waste disposal records must be maintained up to date and made available for inspection by regulatory officials.
Inglese, Jr., O. 1992. Best Management Practices for the Protection of Groundwater: A Local Official's Guide to Managing Class V UIC Wells. Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, Hartford, CT, 138 pp.

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